Switzerland has very strict regulations surrounding being able to work in many health and mental health professions. This is regulated by the Federal Office of Public Health (FOHP), more commonly known in German as the Bundesamt for Gesundheit (the “BAG”) and in French the Office fédéral de la santé publique (OFSP). The public health department requires you to be licenced if you want to work in certain health professions, which they devide up into medical health professions (doctors, chiropractors, etc.), health professions (nurses, osteopaths, midwives, ergotherapists, physiotherapists, etc.), and psychological professions. The extensive list for other health professionals can be found in English here. The professions that deal with psychological health that require licensure are:

Psychological health professionals

  • Psychotherapist
  • Children’s and adolescent psychologist
  • Clinical psychologist
  • Neuropsychologist
  • Health psychologist

In psychological health professionals this is organized and evaluated by the psychologial commission (psyko) with in the FOHP. You can find the names and profiles of the people in the commision as well as their meeting times (usually every 2 months) on line.

Contact:

Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH)
Psychology Professions Commission (PsyCo)
Schwarzenburgstrasse 157
CH-3003 Bern
Phone: +41 (0)58 464 38 18
E-Mail: psyko@bag.admin.ch

We recomend that you explore what the FOPH require before you move to Switzerland. They even allow you to apply before you come. It is a very detailed and process that will require you to provide a lot of forms, documents, as well as explanations as to how you training from another country lines up with their requirements.

To give a very simplified overview, you will need to get your diploma recognized, apply for the title recognition in whatever psychological health profession you consider best fitting your training and be enrolled in the psychology professional register the psyReg. On the FOPH website they provide information about the steps in German, French and Italian. Here are the pages that provide the actual applications and detailed steps for applying for the different psychological professions, again in German, French and Italian.

We talk about our process with licensure as health psychologist and psychotherapist in our C2 podcast, which you can listen to here. We recomend talking with others about the process as it helps with the language, cultural aspects as well a just giving you support for an expensive and time consuming process.

We’ve begun working with a professional virtual platform called Sanzu. We find it handy for scheduling, video sessions, and client communication.  Here is the link: https://www.sanzu.ch/for-providers

We have a Professional Network page on our website which we use for referrals which you for a small yearly fee you are welcome to be a part of. You can connect with Dr. Elizabeth Frei.  You can see the page here. https://c2gether.ch/professional/

We have a workshop regarding starting a private Practice during our yearly Open Space event. So that is another avenue you can talk with others also on this journey.

I also invite you to sign up for our newsletter, then we can keep you updated on our events. Bieng in private practice in a foreign country can sometimes be isolating and we have found it rewarding to be more connected and also share resources.